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Man alleges Mission police mistreated wife

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MISSION, KS (KCTV) -

A local man is calling out Mission, KS, police over a dash cam video involving his wife. He said he put it on YouTube to make a point.

It all started when the woman was trying to put some packages into a drop box at the post office just after the glass doors had shut. She was trying to get the attention of some of the workers behind the counter, but the doors leading to them were already locked.

A postal worker called police to say the woman got angry when they wouldn't help her - even threatening - and she dropped rocks in the drop box.

Her husband said she didn't do any of that and didn't deserve the treatment she got.

The woman's husband posted the video on YouTube that included dash cam of a March arrest, just recently released.

The video shows a second officer arrive and within moments the woman is taken to the ground.

"They violated her rights in so many ways," the husband said in the same YouTube video.

Mission police wouldn't comment, saying they don't comment on cases pending in their municipal court.

"We'd love to provide comments but don't want to be accused of tainting the judicial process," a spokesperson said in a written statement.

KCTV5's Betsy Webster went to a criminal justice instructor at Park University for a breakdown of what's seen on the video.

"I understand, certainly some of the comments. I understand the perceptions," said John Hamilton, associate professor of criminal justice administration at Park University.

Hamilton, who used to be a commander with the Kansas City Police Department, said the perceptions are often inforced by police TV dramas.

"Some guy jumps out of the car and they body slam her. Watch when her elbow hits the ground. I mean this is a painful body slam," the woman's husband says in the video.

It looked painful, but Hamilton said it was not unreasonable because of the moment when the woman turns away from the officer.

"When somebody moves in that way, that would not be seen as a cooperative move," Hamilton said. "Like they were turning to break loose, whether it's to run or whether it's to turn and take a swing."

Another moment people have taken issue with is when the female officer starts looking through the woman's purse.

"Really? Are you shuffling through my purse?" the woman is heard saying.

"Yes," replies the female officer.

"You have no right to shuffle through my things," the woman said.

"Really? Where'd you get your law degree?" the officer responds.

The officer's comment may be taken as sarcastic and snide, but Hamilton said it's not a violation of search and seizure rights.

"We have what we call search incident to an arrest. And what the courts have said is that officers can search an individual or their belongings once they are under arrest, for officers' safety," he said.

The woman is heard telling the officers it was her children putting the rocks in the postal box and she was hollering to get them to stop, becoming frazzled like many moms would be.

"'My babies are screaming in the van.' They cavity search her. They never read her her Miranda Rights," the man said in his YouTube video.

But the search he refers to is also typical and the Miranda Rights reading, officials said, is frequently misunderstood.

"If I'm not going to ask you any questions about the particular incident, I don't have to advise you of Miranda," Hamilton said.

That leaves the officers' remarks to the woman, like at the point when they ask who can come get the kids.

"I could give you his (her husband's) cell phone number," the woman said.

"Right now, I just want you to sit there and be quiet," the male officer responds.

It takes eight minutes for them to finally get the number. But Hamilton calls the interaction professional, despite a few seemingly snarky remarks.

"Unprofessional would have been, 'well we tried to call your husband once and we didn't get ahold of him and so now we are taking the kids and we're going to take them to juvenile and he can just pick them up there,'" he said.

The man who posted the video told KCTV5 he wanted to talk, but he wanted to go through his attorney before talking in person about his concerns. He gave KCTV5 his attorney's cell phone number, but she hasn't responded.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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